Phishing Websites Surge 350% During Coronavirus Pandemic

A recent report created from Google Data reveals that cybercriminals are accelerating their attempts to prey on the public’s fear during this tragic situation.  The data reveals that over 300,000 new websites containing data about the current coronavirus contained malicious code meant to steal visitors’ data or infect their computers with devastating viruses.

The individuals utilizing these methods hope that the current situation mixed with fears from individuals seeking answers and help in desperate times can result in the extraction of sensitive data such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers.  In addition, these websites may contain links which result in the downloading of harmful files which can allow the attacker to gain control over the infected machine or passively log keystrokes and send them remotely back to the criminal.

Falah Consulting recommends following the same behaviors and practices which you would utilize at all times while on the Internet.  This includes the following:

  • Never click a link which presents a destination you aren’t familiar with.  You can always preview where a link will take you by placing your cursor over the link or holding the link if on mobile.  This allows you to accurately identify the destination to ensure you aren’t being redirected to a malicious site.
  • Be wary of any e-mails which request you to act urgently or make threatening claims.  There are a number of scams present now which utilize fear by making the victim feel as if they have no option but to do as the attacker says.  Their attempts of intimidation through the display of known passwords or other information are just that.  If they could do something with the data they claim to have, they already would.
  • When buying anything online, proceed with caution.  During a time of high demand for such critical items such as face masks, hand sanitizer and even toilet paper, it’s easy to feel as though you’ve won the jackpot when you find a retailer who promises that they have the hard-to-find item in stock and can deliver it quickly.  Take time to do your research on the vendor or site.  Do they have verified reviews from 3rd party sources such as Google or ensure they have significant ratings on Amazon or eBay?  Are you able to contact them to validate their claims?  And remember, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

If you need help navigating the waters of your organization’s response to COVID-19, don’t hesitate to


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